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Boston Marathon bombing: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty

Published 08/04/2015

Boston Marathon bomber: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Boston Marathon bomber: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
In this courtroom sketch, assistant US attorney Aloke Chakravarty, far left, addresses the jury as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, sits between his defence lawyers (AP)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty of the Boston Marathon bombing and a US district court jury is to consider a possible death sentence.

A federal jury found Tsarnaev guilty on Wednesday over the terror attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. He kept his hands folded in front of him and looked down at the defence table in the Boston courtroom as the guilty verdicts were read.

The jury will now decide whether the 21-year-old former student should be sentenced to death or receive life in prison.

Tsarnaev's conviction was widely expected, given his lawyer's startling admission during opening statements that he took part in the bombing. But the lawyer also argued that Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, masterminded the attack and enlisted his then-19-year-old brother to help.

Prosecutors portrayed the brothers as full partners in a plan to retaliate against the US for its wars in Muslim countries.

Deliberations in the guilt phase began almost two years after twin bombs exploded near the marathon's finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three people and wounding more than 260.

During closing arguments yesterday, Tsarnaev's lawyers agreed with prosecutors that Tsarnaev conspired with his brother to bomb the marathon and planted one of two pressure-cooker bombs that exploded that day.

But the defence said it was his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan, who was the mastermind of the attack. It was Tamerlan who bought the bomb parts, built the bombs and planned the attack, said defence lawyer Judy Clarke.

"If not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened," Ms Clarke said.

A prosecutor told the jury that Tsarnaev made a coldblooded decision aimed at punishing America for its wars in Muslim countries.

People attend an interfaith service held near a makeshift memorial on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon (AP)
People attend an interfaith service held near a makeshift memorial on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon (AP)
Lisa Mara, 27, left, and her best friend Heather Buda, 26, embrace each other while paying respects at a makeshift memorial on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Boston. Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in Watertown, Mass. The 19-year-old college student wanted in the bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A crowd reacts to news of the arrest of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects during a celebration at Boston Common, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Boston. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in Watertown, Mass. The 19-year-old college student wanted in the bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A gathering of people including the media gather around a police officer as he leaves the scene after the arrest of a suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013. Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A pedestrian crosses the intersection of deserted Broad and State Streets, as One International Place towers in the background in downtown Boston Friday, April 19, 2013. Mass transit was suspended while a suspect was hunted following bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
WATERTOWN, MA - APRIL 19: Revelers applaud and cheer as motorists pass at an impromptu celebration following the successful operation to capture 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. A manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, ended this evening with his capture on a boat parked on a residential property in Watertown, Massachusetts. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the other suspect, was shot and killed by police early this morning after a car chase and shootout with police. The two men are suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three people and wounded at least 170. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 18: U.S. President Barack Obama departs the White House Briefing Room after making a statement on the capture of Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. A manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, ended this evening with his capture on a boat parked on a residential property in Watertown, Massachusetts. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the other suspect, was shot and killed by police early this morning after a car chase and shootout with police. The two men are suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three people and wounded at least 170. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WATERTOWN, MA - APRIL 19: Women cheer police as they exit Franklin Street after 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was apprehended on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. A manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev ended this evening with his capture on a boat parked on a residential property in Watertown, Massachusetts. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the other suspect, was shot and killed by police early this morning after a car chase and shootout with police. The two men are suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three people and wounded at least 170.(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WATERTOWN, MA - APRIL 19: Women cheer police as they exit Franklin Street after 19-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was apprehended on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. A manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev ended this evening with his capture on a boat parked on a residential property in Watertown, Massachusetts. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the other suspect, was shot and killed by police early this morning after a car chase and shootout with police. The two men are suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three people and wounded at least 170.(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WATERTOWN, MA - APRIL 19: Law enforcement approach an area where a suspect is hiding on Franklin St., on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. After a car chase and shoot out with police, one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot and killed by police early morning April 19, and a manhunt is underway for his brother and second suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. The two men are suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15, that killed three people and wounded at least 170. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 18: U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in the White House Briefing Room to make a statement on the capture of Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. A manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, ended this evening with his capture on a boat parked on a residential property in Watertown, Massachusetts. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the other suspect, was shot and killed by police early this morning after a car chase and shootout with police. The two men are suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three people and wounded at least 170. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A SWAT team marches through a neighborhood while searching for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013.Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left one of them dead and another still at large Friday, authorities said as the manhunt intensified for a young man described as a dangerous terrorist. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
This Monday, April 15, 2013 photo provided by Bob Leonard shows second from right, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was dubbed Suspect No. 1 and walking behind him, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who was dubbed Suspect No. 2 in the Boston Marathon bombings by law enforcement. This image was taken approximately 10-20 minutes before the blast. (AP Photo/Bob Leonard)
This still frame from video shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev visible through an ambulance after he was captured in Watertown, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013. A 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)

"This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point," Aloke Chakravarty said. "It was to tell America that 'We will not be terrorised by you anymore. We will terrorise you.'"

Ms Clarke argued that Tsarnaev fell under the influence of Tamerlan. She repeatedly referred to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then 19, as a "kid" and a "teenager".

Tsarnaev is an ethnic Chechen who moved to the US with his family about a decade before the bombings.

Prosecutors used their closing to remind the jury of the horror of that day, showing photographs and video of the carnage and chaos after the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs exploded.

In one video, jurors could hear the agonising screams of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager who bled to death on the pavement. Another woman and an eight-year-old boy also were killed.

Taking aim at the argument that Tsarnaev was led astray by his older brother, Mr Chakravarty repeatedly referred to the Tsarnaevs as "a team" and "partners" in the attack.

"That day, they felt they were soldiers. They were the mujahedeen, and they were bringing their battle to Boston," the prosecutor said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died four days after the bombings after he was shot by police and run over by Dzhokhar during a getaway attempt. Dzhokhar was captured hours later hiding in a dry-docked boat.

Further reading

FBI agent shoots dead man 'connected to Boston bombing suspect' during questioning at his apartment  

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets support in court from mother-in-law of Ibragim Todashev who was shot dead by FBI agent

Father of Ibrahim Todashev, the man shot dead by FBI during questioning at his home in connection with Boston bombing, claims photographs show his son was 'executed'

Boston Marathon case final speeches

Police tell of first-hand experiences during Boston bombings

Obama defends Boston bombing probe

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 (AP)
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 (AP)
Emma MacDonald, 21, center, cries during a vigil for the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions at Boston Common, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Twin explosions near the marathon's finish line Monday killed three people, wounded more than 170 and reawakened fears of terrorism. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
President Barack Obama pauses as he begins to speak in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Lizzie Lee, 56, of Lynwood, Wash., who was participating in her first Boston Marathon and 11th overall, holds a candle and a flower at Boston Common during a vigil for the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, one day after bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
BOSTON - APRIL 17: Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston continues to get back to normal, as businesses and streets are reopened following a two bomb explosion at the finish line of the marathon that killed 3 people and injured hundreds more. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: People gather with candles during a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Young children stand with lit candles during a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A man with an American flag on his hat attends a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A woman cries while listening during the vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A young girl cries with her mother during the vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Mourners attend candlelight vigil for Martin Richard at Garvey Park, near Richard's home in the Dorchester section of Boston, on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Martin is the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. (AP Photo/The New York Times, Josh Haner) MANDATORY CREDIT; NYC OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; TV OUT, NO ARCHIVE
Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
The explosions killed three people and injured more than 140 (AP/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
One of the blast sites is examined on Boylston Street near the finish line (AP)
The remains of a pressure cooker that the FBI says was part of one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon. (AP/FBI)
Lu Lingzi who was one of the three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombing
Police clear the area at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (AP)
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (AP)
One of the blast sites is examined on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. (AP)
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (AP)

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